Smash's Andy Mientus Talks Kyle's [Spoiler], Hit List's Rent Parallels and Jimmy's Redemption

Andy Mientus Smash Kyle Dies DeadWarning: If you haven’t seen this week’s Smash, stop reading now — there are spoilers ahead. Otherwise, proceed without caution!

Tonight’s Smash resolved a cliffhanger that no one — especially not optimistic young playwright Kyle Bishop — saw coming.

The car that came bearing down on Kyle at the end of last Saturday’s episode ultimately claimed his life, we learned in “The Phenomenon,” an hour in which his friends and colleagues mourned his loss and flashed back to key moments in their relationships with him.

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Theater star Andy Mientus, who landed his first major TV role playing Kyle, said he was initially saddened by his character’s demise — until showrunner Josh Safran explained that the NBC musical drama was telling a parallel story to that of composer and playwright Jonathan Larson, who passed away right before the off-Broadway opening of his landmark musical Rent.

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Here, Mientus opens up about how he got the news of Kyle’s fate, what it was like shooting his final musical number (set to Jeff Buckley’s “The Last Goodbye”) and whether he had any trepidation about a storyline that so closely adhered to a real-life Broadway tragedy.

TVLINE | “Oh my God. They killed Kyle!” How early on did you learn your character’s fate, and what was your reaction?
They gave me plenty of notice, which was really nice. It’s not like I found out at the table read. Still, I had a complicated response. Of course, I was upset that I wasn’t going to be able to continue with the show, and I was sad for Kyle because I really love that character. At the same time, knowing the character was designed to meet his end to tell this Rent parallel story, there was a pressure to make Kyle really loveable, not a character that, when he died, people would be like “Oh, great, thank God.” After last week’s cliffhanger [with Kyle caught in the car's headlights], people really freaked out, — the kids on the Internet — and seemed really, really upset by it. That made me feel like we did our job, because if Kyle wasn’t going to be a character who people would mourn, then the whole arc of the season would be ruined.

TVLINE | In the last three or four episodes, Kyle has really come into his own and gotten interesting. He went from a hapless writer to finding his stride professionally. He went from fawning without any hope over Jimmy to having a relationship with Blake the lighting guy, and then having an affair with Tom on the side. And he finally stood up to Jimmy as his final act. How did you feel about Kyle’s character development, and the point at which he left us.
I’m really glad that we got to see Kyle wrapped up before he met his end. That makes it a satisfying arc. If he was still lovelorn and apologizing for himself and his work, if he was that goofy kid that we met at the beginning, then [his death] wouldn’t really mean anything. But luckily, you see him find his voice, create the musical that he wants to create. And I was really thrilled that, even though it’s not The Kyle Show, they gave him that much time before they used him as a device to affect the other characters. Because it’s about what his death does to everyone else and what it does to the musical. That’s really the story.

TVLINE | You got to sing Jeff Buckley’s “The Last Goodbye” right before Kyle’s death. Obviously, as viewers, we see Kyle packing up Jimmy’s belongings and delivering them to Jimmy’s brother’s drug den. Kyle is taking a stand and saying a last goodbye to his best friend. But obviously you knew as you filmed the scene that those headlights were going to be bearing down on Kyle. How did you approach the moment? And was it intense knowing it was your goodbye to Smash, in a sense?
It was really, really late at night. We’d shot all day that day. The thing that is so great about acting with music on a show like this is that the music does so much of the emotional work for you. It’s like having your own underscoring before they put it in. I was walking down the street looking at the city and hearing in my in-ear headpiece the playback of these string parts, and that made it feel very cinematic while I was doing it.

TVLINE | Kyle’s best friend and writing partner Jimmy has been a really polarizing character — bratty and self-centered, makes so many awful choices. Did Kyle have to die to redeem Jimmy?
Oh, absolutely. The last line that you see Kyle say in the series is in a flashback, as he and Jimmy are writing the show and they’re figuring out how to kill, or if they need to kill Amanda, Karen’s character in Hit List. And Kyle’s last line is something to the effect of “You’re right, she must die so your character can learn something.” And then it cuts back to the present and back to Jimmy, and it’s what Kyle leaves him and leaves the audience with: Someone has to die so that he can learn something. It’s definitely a parallel.

TVLINE | Is Jimmy redeemable?
I think so. We’ve seen snippets of the good guy that’s in there underneath all the stuff that he’s trying to work through. You see the brilliant artist and you see the good friend and the humor. Knowing that Karen has just met him recently, when people ask “Why does she feel for this guy?”, that’s a valid question. She’s only really seen him be this drug-addled, unreliable guy with an attitude. But Kyle’s known him since they were kids. And so if Kyle is a likeable character, then you have to assume that there is something about Jimmy — other than the fact that Kyle might be in love with him — that makes him stick up for him and makes him believe in him still. So I think Jimmy is redeemable and you will see that played out this year.

TVLINE | You had Tweeted that tonight’s episode, which featured Kyle in multiple flashbacks, was your favorite. Tell me about those moments — especially the one with Tom serenading Kyle to Billy Joel’s “Vienna.” I felt like we saw perhaps a more adult side to Kyle than what had been presented previously.
It was such a pleasure for so many reasons. A lot of the time Kyle was used [in the overall scheme of the show] just for information, just to move the story along, because like I said, he’s not one of the main, main characters. But those scenes, they are really…well, I remember Josh [Safran] being worried about them because they were grace-note scenes. They didn’t necessarily move the plot forward, and he was worried that he was going to be under pressure to cut them, because there are so many mouths to feed on an ensemble show like Smash. But luckily they made it through. They were really quiet moments that you don’t get a lot of in a show like ours that is so plot-driven. So I liked that element of them. Also they were with actors that I really admire and love to work with, like with Christian [Borle]. I really think that scene with him is an awesome, really beautiful little moment for Kyle and Tom. And it explained to a lot of people who were confused by that pairing, why that pairing works. And also I just love the episode because it tells that story that I love so much, with the Hit List cast doing that sing-through and the show turning into a phenomenon that it does.

TVLINE | On that note, you mentioned your character’s arc and the parallels to Rent and its writer Jonathan Larson. There was a mix of reader comments at the end of our recap last week — some suggesting that maybe it paralleled real life too much, and to that end, was disrespectful. Did you ever have a worry about that?
Jonathan Larson and his story is something that I really don’t take lightly. He was such genius. Rent is the reason why I am trying to be an actor and trying to be a writer, and there is such a tragedy [to his death] that is still so palpable. I did Rent about two years ago with the director Karen Azenberg, who knew him, who knew his family and was invited to that famous sing-through the night that he had passed away, and couldn’t go because it was too close. And members of her family worked on Rent. She said [Jonathan] was present [in spirit] every day, it felt like, and how that tragedy was still looming over her because of the kind of person he was. So, I was very nervous, sure, but it is a great story and it is something that really happened and you know, hopefully Kyle has mirrored Jonathan Larson’s enthusiasm and his light and positivity in a way that will make that parallel something that’s a tribute and not exploitative. It’s about this kid who loves this art form more than anything, and has worked so hard and struggled so much to get the show to where it is, and then can’t be there to see it through. Hopefully that’s the story that we’re telling.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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111 Comments
  1. Cate says:

    I saw this coming when the Rent parallels started, but I admit I was in denial as long as possible. I genuinely fell in love with Kyle, probably more than any character in either season. But I’m so glad Andy Mientus got this kind of break- I saw him years ago in Spring Awakening and met him; he is every bit as talented in person and one of the kindest people I’ve met.
    RIP Kyle Bishop. You’ll be missed.

    • Annie says:

      One main thing keeps bugging me – I mean, seriously bugging me, not like the relatively minor annoyances this show routinely tosses out – and that’s how the character of Scott, played by Jesse Martin (who was in the cast of Rent, and knew Larson), has evolved rather rapidly from the guy you cheer for to the guy who takes advantage of a young man’s death for financial gain and to keep his job. Given Martin’s close connection to the obvious inspiration for this plot arc, I cannot imagine what a bad taste the script for this episode must have left in his mouth. It seems – I dunno, somehow grossly callous & even disrespectful, to both Larson and to Martin. After Smash dies, I would love it if Martin shared his thoughts on this candidly.

  2. Jea says:

    I am really sad that they killed Kyle. I also saw the RENT parallel last week. I actually said to a friend are they going to put a Larsen. I love RENT and think this was not a good step for Smash. It is actually weird to watch with Daphne Rubin-Vaga and Jesse L Martin in the show because this directly affected them.

    • mawhi says:

      I agree! They literally had Jesse L Martin in front of a poster for Rent during one of the scenes. It made me really uncomfortable.

      • Annie says:

        Not to mention the fact that they’re asking Martin to play a guy who takes *advantage* of Larson/Kyle’s death. It seems really callous and grossly disrespectful.

        • Smash Fan says:

          I say the same he should of had the day after Kyle’s death be full of silence and grief, though because of Kyle’s amazing work eventhough I wish he had more of a future because he had such a great potential, Though Kyle has left Hit List will become a Legacy.

        • Lauren says:

          But in the end, they did as the cast of Rent did. They coped with the loss by celebrating the work that night. Not offensive, more of a tribute.

    • Angel says:

      I agree. I wonder if they even support the idea and decision that the writers made to do this. They were part of the original cast, who had to go after Jonathan’s death. I can only imagine how hard that was for them. OH, and can they let them sing already! Jesse’s voice is awesome give him a song to sing!

  3. Drew says:

    Andy did well with what he was given, but the only part of Kyle’s death that really stung was the fact that Jimmy didn’t get hit too.

    Hopefully they can use this to redeem the Jimmy character somehow, because so far, neither of those characters really added anything worthwhile to the show. There is still time though.

    • AES says:

      I agree. I don’t like the Jimmy character. Seems to split the ensemble/plots up and away from the music & play aspect. I liked the Kyle character and understand why they did it, but they can still drop Jimmy as far as I’m concerned. If they keep adding characters, none will ever get more than one line a show. Time to tighten up and get back to the basics of the show. I do like the addition of Jesse L. Martin and I hope he stays. Would be nice to hear him sing too.

      • Smash Fan says:

        I think Sam Stricklen should get Jesse in Hit List he left Bombshell to go to a tour where he was the main role left that to go to Bombshell getting a sort of main role than was put in swing and then put in Hit List then may be dropped again. When before this all he used to be main characters on broadway. Jimmy also sucks at acting Sam has experience Jimmy should leave Smash for good get killed by his drugged brother or something.

  4. I think anyone who is offended by the “RENT” parallels missing the point. I grew up loving “RENT” and still do, but the legacy of Jonathan Larson’s passing is about the enduring power of musical theatre, and its ability to change people. If Kyle’s death is a means to impact those that loved him (Jimmy, Tom, Julia, et al), then that is truly paying tribute to Larson and “RENT.”

    Besides, Jonathan Larson was not the first musical theatre luminary to die before his biggest success. While it wasn’t his first success, director Gower Champion died 10 hours before “42 Street” opened and it was kept secret from the cast, crew, and public until the curtain call.

    I have continued to be impressed with “Smash” since mid-season, and I hope it continues to improve and that somehow NBC decides to keep the story going.

    • kate says:

      I kind of agree. Larson has been dead, what, 15 years now? I don’t find it distasteful to tell this parallel story. Obviously Jesse L. Martin and Daphne Rubin-Vega were okay with it, or they wouldn’t have done it. It only encourages people to check out what Larson brought to the world, particularly through musical theater. That said, I did feel they bashed us over the head with the parallels a bit, but I didn’t find it distasteful.

  5. Sharb says:

    This shocked me, I haven’t read spoilers prior to Kyle’s death but it shocked me. I’m still really sad about it cause I enjoyed this character and he was becoming one of my favorites. I might not love Jimmy but Kyle was his best friend and tonight when he didn’t drink was a good start to him being redeemed in a lot of peoples eyes.

    I adore Andy though he’s a good talent who should get a lot more success after this show and what he did on it.

  6. Connor says:

    I think the nuances in Andy’s performance throughout the season, the presence of the RENT OBC characters, and the tryout at Manhattan Theater Workshop really gave me the feeling of imminent RENT parallels. I did RENT at a local theater, and one of the first things we did was talk about Jonathan Larson’s story, and it made it seem as if RENT wasn’t just a piece of theater, but rather a record of his life and thoughts. As big a Smash fan that I am, I feel to assume through the parallels that Hit List(or Smash itself) is on the level of sacrifice and beauty of RENT is narcissistic and honestly I think a reference to Jonathan Larson in the credits would be nice. I do however have an incredible respect for everyone creating Smash, as an actor myself I know these people before and they all give breathtaking performances.

  7. mar says:

    my favorite episode- just amazing

  8. austintexas1961 says:

    I realize that Kyle is a fictional character. Nevertheless, I’ll miss him…as will many others.

    • Michael Hamilton says:

      Me too. For me, Kyle represented so many of todays gay youth. He was a respectable character that they could look up to in a positive light. In a time with such bullying and suicide over this issue, Kyle was a shining light, and it’s sad that he had to be killed just to save a plot. Whle Tom is also a great gay character and he is positive, he’s not as young as he needs to be to fill the slot that Kyle filled. All that is aside from the fact that Kyle was a great kid and you felt good seeing him on the screen. His loss IS tragic in so many ways…not just because of the rent parallel.

  9. Chris says:

    I don’t care if Jimmy can be redeemed through Kyle’s death. I still don’t want him with Karen and he’s still annoying and them being together is annoying because she already jumped on the bandwagon while everyone hated him. Plus, she has mad chemistry with Derek.

    But anyway, poor Kyle.

    And as a side note, I don’t care for Ivy or Karen, but it’ll be pretty messed up if Ivy can’t beat out Karen. I mean, Karen really isn’t giving us anything. I don’t know if that’s Katherine’s fault or the writers.

    • mar says:

      gotta say, Ivy isn’t giving us anything either!

    • Matt says:

      That’s not entirely fair. I’m not sure but I think I saw Karen actually display a fourth facial expression tonight (in addition to happy face and sad face (and those are only indicated by the direction of her mouth) i am going to be generous and assume the blank look she usually has is anger and/or confusion.

  10. kavyn says:

    Kyle’s death felt like such a prop. They kill him off so that everyone pities Jimmy. The Kyle/Karen flashback was especially bad because it just turned Karen back into Jimmy’s lap dog like she was at the beginning of the season. At this point it wouldn’t surprise me if Jimmy was the one driving the car that hit Kyle just so he could reap in all of the pity. The Hit List stuff was also infuriating.

    The flashbacks (aside from Kyle/Karen) were pretty nice.

    • Smash Fan says:

      Hey I am up coming writer and I was thinking the same thing I am 13 by the way, but it makes sense because he didn’t seem to care in the beginning, but when he was singing the sad song he finally realized what he had done so he started to cry and then not make a toast to Kyle total D***

  11. renata says:

    For the life of me I can’t understand how NBC can’t make a show of this quality and level of talent survive. How’s it even possible? This is one of the best shows on television. People sit around and nitpick regarding this show, cast, and story line, but I’ll take it over another edition of ‘Housewives’ or the ‘Kar-fool-ians’ any day of the week. It’s criminal that this will not be back next year. Imagine, a show for adults that showcases real talent….

    Tonight was a great episode of a terrific show!

    • AngieD says:

      They messed up with the 1st part of season 2 that had some truly dreadful episodes, as well as having too many unlikeable characters. The only episodes I’ve rewatched this season have been the one’s that have aired on Saturday’s. If they had all been of this quality, the show would’ve had a better shot at surviving. SMASH had to be a moderate success to be renewed because it’s an expensive show to produce due to the sets, singing and choreography, which is also why it’s only a 1/2 season show.

      • Drew says:

        They do get some money from music sales. I haven’t actually checked to see how successful that side of it is, but if it did well, it could supplement bad ratings.

    • Prof., Denise J. Tartaglia says:

      Completely agree, I truly believe that the two-yrs of harsh criticism, not critique is a direct result of the lack of literacy amongst ‘critics’ and many in the viewing public. There has been for a while a near complete lack of knowledge and appreciation of theatre, music, art, literature, etc. on US tv and to a lesser extent on Canadian tv. I love the show. Since it is the only program that I watch on NBC — they have lost a viewer — smart boys.

  12. Angel says:

    I understand the writers thought they could try and honor Larson in some way here, but they did it wrong. Their lack of original creativity is astounding. Why do that to a likable character, Jimmy should’ve been hit by the car.

    • Lyn says:

      Ha! Jimmy really is annoying in every way. I also don’t think they had established Kyle as that significant of a character, thus the idea that all of NYC would be in mourning for him is kind of ridiculous. Personally he was all over the place, and professionally, he had only recently gotten a clue thanks to Julia’s little tutoring session. It’s not like, say, Neil Simon met an untimely end.

    • Smash Fan says:

      I am a fan of the show and up coming writer I am 13 I say it wouldn’t of been as moving it would of been Yay Jimmy is dead! Booyah! now Sam is the main character! I really like Sam by the way and Ivy not so much Karen she is a mederocaore actor that is why she never went to broadway and i wished that is what happened. I loved Kyle too, but with him gone may be this will open every else’s eyes especially the Jerkish ones to find Redemption (except for Jimmy he can not really ever be redeemed)

  13. Agnello Dei says:

    I saw “RENT”, well, the movie version, and I hated it, might as well been called “and they all die of AIDS” so I didn’t about any parallels, but I loved Kyle and he was so sweet and cute. I will miss him :( I looked forward every week to see him in new episodes.

    • Rob says:

      This is easily one of the most ignorant comments I’ve ever seen on here. Congrats.

    • Erin says:

      If you’re judging Rent only on the movie version, I *guess* I could understand your ignorance on the subject, since the show itself is 100 times better than then the movie…although, you obviously weren’t paying attention, because there is ONE death in Rent, not to mention they don’t all have AIDS. BUT, since you’ve only seen the movie, you obviously don’t know what you’re talking about. In the future, maybe you should make sure you that you understand the subject matter before piping in with some tasteless statement (unless that was a misguided “Team America” joke, in which case, you failed miserably)

    • Smash Fan says:

      YOU JUST WON THE MOST STUPID COMMENT AWARD NICE JOB FOR BEING A D*** ABOUT RENT! (sarcasism)

  14. Brandy says:

    Ill miss Kyle

  15. Anon says:

    The story of the production of Rent is truly beautiful and in my opinion, a good and developed rendition of it would only serve as a tribute.

    However, that was not what has happened on Smash. Andy Mientus is a nuanced and talented actor, but the problem is that they have only shown his character Kyle as something more than an appendage to Jimmy in the last two episodes. Seriously, the actor has had no scenes this whole season that either wasn’t with Jimmy or talking about Jimmy until these past two episodes.

    It simply wasn’t enough time for viewers to get invested and to feel the heartbreak in this episode the way we would have if the storyline had been properly and thoughtfully executed. It’s as if they writers knew where they wanted to go the whole time, but only realized they needed to actually move the plot that way at the last minute. Ironically, the projection of this story was akin to someone mindlessly heading down the road, then veering to make a sharp turn when they realize they are in the wrong direction. It actually explains Kyle and Tom’s random and inauthentic hookup that occurred with absolutely no development. If they haven’t been able to do good character development for their main characters, Karen and Ivy, across half a season’s worth of episodes, they definitely couldn’t accomplish it in two for a side character.

    And of course, a big part of this episode was Jimmy’s reaction to Kyle’s death….Karen worrying about his reaction….and then all culminating in a breathtaking and tragic farewell song. All of this would be meaningful storytelling and could have played out the way they intended…except for the underlying fact that no one cares about the character of Jimmy.

    You can successfully tell the story of the anti-hero learning a lesson through loss and ultimately redeeming himself-it’s been done before and will be done again. But you still have to make audience care about the character and his journey….and they simply haven’t done it with Jimmy. That character could find the cure for cancer…or get killed of himself…and it simply wouldn’t mean anything because no one cares about Jimmy. Except the character of Karen….and doesn’t that just make you roll your eyes??

    The characters of Jimmy and Kyle came suddenly upon SMASH and brought Hit List so that both heroines could have a starring role and a leading romantic interest…and along the way the writers forgot to make us care about the characters themselves.

    • Rob says:

      Now THIS is actually a legitimately smart comment. I really agree one hundred percent with what you’ve said. I felt sad during the song tribute but it seemed inauthentic and I realized why I was sad was because of the reality of the genesis of the story being about Larson who was brilliant. To tell a fictional story based on fact, you need to realize the importane of the actual story. They missed the point of Larson’s legacy because whereas Rent speaks about a horrible epidemic in a real and meaningful way, “Hit List” is this half-assed story about fame and jealousy and tragedy which could be interesting but even there they missed the boat. Overall, Smash writers consistently miss the boat on some plot lines that could really be powerful.

      • renata says:

        See, this is where I go absolutely nuts over the criticism I encounter related to Smash. People like you want to compare it to B’way shows, or a tragedy like that of Larson when what you should be comparing it to is what the networks have the audacity to generally call entertainment in the year 2013. TV in this country has been reduced to the lowest common denominator, and each year that low seems to reach new and even greater levels. For the most part, all that’s left on network TV is junk that is suitable for morons.

        Now comes a show like Smash that features some great musical talent (please, familiarize yourself with Mark Shaiman, for example), Oscar winners, Tony winners, solid B’way performers, talent with a long list of top flight movie credits, and people like yourself want to say, ‘Not good enough’! It doesn’t rise to the level of some Broadway greats!!! Wake up, will you? When they take this show off the air are you going to sit around like some fool and compare Housewives of Beverly Hills to Rent? Will you question the singing skills of a Kardashian? Perhaps you’ll find some meaningful way of comparing the first person that gets killed on Splash with Larson/Rent and then you’ll be happy! You have it all wrong; Smash was a move in the right direction, albeit imperfect, but for you it’s just not ‘elite’ enough. Those who brought you Smash took a risk attempting to be a cut above, but obviously you’ll be more content when left with The Apprentice, Jersey Shore, Cupcake Wars. or whatever nonsense 2014 brings.

        • Prof., Denise J. Tartaglia says:

          Do not disagree with Renata’s posts. Your spot on. Disagreed with poster re: their not caring about Kyle/Jimmy characters.

        • Alan Dvorkis says:

          Thanks. I felt much sadness this episode, knowing this flawed but joyous show is doomed, losing to the unrelenting stupidity that permeates modern television. You captured this reality perfectly.

        • Brewer says:

          Thank you Renata! I am really happy to see someone step up and peg the bashing for what it is. Where it really makes my skin crawl is with McPhee, who seems to be a never-ending glutton for the bashers punishment. This girl gets on this show with her American Idol background, and a few small, relatively insignificant movie credits. She steps up to the plate, and for two seasons goes toe to toe with Oscar winners, Tony winners, really with some legendary greats! C’mon, she’s doing scenes here with Anjelica Huston and Uma Thurman for crying out loud. She deserves a lot of credit for that. That is not easy to do when your experience is relatively limited. And I don’t care what anyone says, her voice is still terrific, and as far as I’m concerned she’s done a great job.

          The problems with this show, and its lack of success fall squarely on NBC. People can’t even figure out when it will air, and let’s not begin to discuss the huge time gap between seasons during which most people probably couldn’t even remember what the show was about. As well, often the writing seemed scatter shot., as if it was done by committee rather than an individual or small team that knew what it was supposed to be about and where it was going. EVEN WITH THOSE FLAWS, it still outclassed 95% of what is being shown on TV. And even with that fact, people still had to complain, and complain as if we should be comparing this with “West Side Story” rather than “The Apprentice”. Silly!! That attitude squandered a real noble effort at upping the ante with what is offered on American TV. What could have been a sign of improvement, instead opens the door to more garbage on your tube.

          • Angie says:

            Smash is a 1/2 season show because it takes so long to produce the music, recordings, choreography etc. is started as a mid season replacement and was a mid season show this year as well.

            I think NBC did try. They heavily promoted the show during season 1 and brought it back even though the 1st season wasn’t that ghost in the ratings.

            The main problem is that the 1st 1/2 if season 2 was BAD. A lot of the characters became Unlikeable as we’re several if the new ones. The best ‘interactions’ fr season 1 were non existent. It’s only been the episodes aired on Saturdays that have been enjoyable.

            I don’t think NBC marketed season 2 as much but it wouldve been wasted on the 1st 1/2 of season2. It’s the writing that killed the show.

          • Ann says:

            McPhee’s acting in Phenomenon was spot on. Love her voice.

        • Rob says:

          I appreciate the criticism, Renata, and I’ll take it into consideration. I don’t really care to get into an anonymous fight over the quality of Smash because there are much more important things that can be discussed. What I will say is that before you judge someone based on one comment, maybe you should ask questions like, “How familiar are you with the broadway world? How familiar are you with the TV world?”

          I’ll take the liberty to respond to those questions now. I am not as familiar with the Broadway world as I might like to be. However, when it comes to TV, you can rest assured that I know my stuff. When a show sets out to create a parallel to an actual event like the article says “Smash” tried to do with this nonsense, then, yes, I can comment on how it failed at creating a parallel. The Kardashians are not trying to parallel anything. And if they were trying to parallel the life and death of Jonathan Larson, then I would comment on that as well.

          I am in no way trying to say that Smash, on the whole, is not an innovative “move in the right direction” as you put it. But it has been seriously mishandled. I don’t care whether a million or ten million people watch it this week, it is going to be canceled because it was mishandled. That is a fact. If you want to argue about it, then look at the numbers. I am no elitist and, frankly, the fact that you think someone who watches the Housewives of Beverly Hills or Kardashians is “elitist” is seriously disturbing. But, I watch all genres of television because I am a STUDENT of Television. I’ve studied the history television from the radio era all the way up until last night’s disastrous episode of Smash. And what it comes down to, in layman’s terms, is character depth and development. They half-assed Kyle’s character and made him likable and legitimate too little too late. If they wanted to make a comparison to someone iconic in the Broadway world like Jonathan Larson, they should have paid more attention to creating a legitimately deep, thoughtful, well-rounded, and likable character. While I liked Kyle, his death was a non-event surrounded by inauthentic flashbacks that tried to make it seem like he had any importance in these people’s lives. It was a failed attempt and calling someone out for having an opinion that is contrary with your own is, in my opinion, quite elitist.

          • Anon says:

            I found that whole response to be bizarre…it read like the poster was attacking you personally without even bothering to address the points made in your post.

            I have no idea how the reality tv show stuff came into it. You should just ignore it. You can’t smartly discuss or debate an issue with someone who tries to redefine your own opinions.

          • Rob says:

            Thanks Anon. I usually try to ignore nonsensical people, but this one was absurd. :)

          • renata says:

            I don’t want to get into a squabble either, though for someone who professes a desire to avoid that, you appear to state things in a manner that would invite an argument. You clearly have your dukes up, while I’m just attempting to defend a TV show of which I am an unabashed fan.

            First, let me point out that you either haven’t read my post, or in the alternative I didn’t express a certain element clearly enough. My reference to some garbage reality TV shows had nothing to do with the “elitist” attitude I mentioned. My reference to reality shows was more in the direction of the “morons” I was discussing. You would need a brain to pick up on that, though, right Rob?

            As for my background, I have a fairly substantial background in Broadway, and a fair amount of experience with TV. In fact, I’ve been on TV many times myself, and earned my keep for many years performing on TV commercials. Oddly enough, I actually was quite friendly with the author of the score for the original “Marilyn” show that was on B’way back in the 80′s. That writer (Jeannie Napoli) unfortunately has since passed on, but that friendship combined with all the trivia I learned about Monroe through that association and experience, led to my initial fascination with Smash. In fact it was Jeannie that introduced me to Marc Shaiman back then, the composer of many of the songs heard on Smash. Having been there for the real thing (so to speak), I couldn’t miss this! As for TV, my girlfriend is on a show right now, and I’ve personally worked around TV as a performer, and a friend of performers, for many, many years. Given my personal associations combined with my own experience, I think I know whereof I speak.

            As for your comments, what can I say? If you would even entertain the idea of commenting on the Kardashians (were they to attempt to “parallel the life and death of Jonathan Larson”) it would probably be one of the funniest things ever, or in the alternative I’d assume you should probably be committed. I think your error is in assuming that a “parallel” should somehow become the telling of a life story; under these particular TV circumstances I believe it more appropriate to accept the story arc of Smash as a ‘reference’ or ‘inference’. To demand it to actually become a strict ‘biographical’ representation about Larson out of no where is, in my opinion, way off the mark. At best, the intention should have been taken as the paying of a brief and summary homage, and nothing greater. Unfortunately, you appear to demand that it be biographical and exacting. I personally don’t get that at all.I don’t even see why or how that would fit into a show that’s gone the route of Smash.

            I agree with you completely that Smash will in all likelihood be cancelled, and certainly some of that is mishandling of numerous aspects of the show, something I discussed earlier in this thread. However, I do think in large measure a hyper-bashing of the show began early on, due to the mountain of hype that NBC shellacked it with. That over-bashing just never stopped. Its as if it became a sport and NBC created a target. From my prospective Smash is a show miles ahead of most of what you get to see on network TV, and it should have been respected for that. Instead, people like yourself, persist in tearing down what could have, and should have been taken as an extremely positive effort, by a stellar cast. Once gone, what will be left when you don’t have Smash to kick around any longer? What generally remains is garbage that’s not even worth the time it would take to comment upon. Will that make you and the other bashers happier?

    • Prof., Denise J. Tartaglia says:

      Disagree. I loved Kyle, his charm, sweetness and strength. Also,love the character of Jimmy. Both actors are wonderful. I cried when Jordan sang his song in the show. The rawness of his pain was so tenable and his love of his friend was spot on. Incredible talents. Also, kudos to the rest of the cast for the poignancy and sadness they portrayed. Personally, I cannot stand the character of Karen. She makes my skin crawl.

  16. Sar says:

    I saw this coming with all the parallels to how RENT was created. Jonathan Larson LOVED theatre. He wrote other shows like “Tick Tick BOOM” and worked as a waiter trying to make it. He wrote RENT because his friends were dying and he needed to tell those stories. That was authentic. What they did on Smash never captured that essence, it always felt like they were stealing glory and didn’t understand what the RENT phenomenon was. I’m curious ow Jesse and Daphne felt about it, as well as other OBC members and the Larson family.

    • Ann says:

      I have to say this and I know people will hate me for such blasphemy, but Rent is totally overrated and made famous because of the poignancy that the writer died before realizing his dream of making it big, much like the dreams of the characters in his show. Take away his death and you get a show about a bunch of losers, drug addicts, and promiscuous AIDS victims who no one really cares about with the same plot as La Boheme, except with a ridiculous ending.

      • Angel says:

        Yes Larson’s death effected the success of the show, but the show spoke to audiences without his death, that was why it was in the process of moving to the Broadway stage before he died. Some people can relate to the stories being told. You have a right to your opinion, but understand that his death is a very small part of the show’s success, not the only reason it was a success. Some people actually have friends who have HIV or AIDS, or who are recovering drug addicts, so some people can relate. So to say people don’t care about those people is ignerint.

      • kate says:

        RENT lit up Broadway long after Larson died. It wasn’t just some flash in the pan because the creative force behind it passed away before the curtain went up. The stories in RENT about love, loss, friendship, and the dreams we have endure. And by the way: the people “nobody really cares about” (at the time, people society didn’t care about – AIDS victims, addicts, etc…) was part of the point Larson was making. RENT is timeless in the same way ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ or ‘A Little Night Music’ or ‘South Pacific’ is timeless: it speaks to the basic humanity in all of us and comments on the human condition. Whether you like the way that commentary is made is personal preference, not something to be disregarded as some kind of false reality.

  17. sorry to see the show ending, love the music and actors will miss smash .

    • Ann says:

      I’ve watched this show since the beginning and I’m so glad I’ve stuck with it even though NBC might be cancelling it (I’m still holding on to hope for a renewal). Each week it has gotten so much better and it doesn’t even bother me when there’s barely any music on the show, but when there is music, it’s used so well and adds so much to the story. I’ve listened to “The Love I Meant to Say” so many times. It’s perhaps the most beautiful, most poignant song they’ve sung so far….so beautiful.

  18. Christina says:

    I am sad Andy is gone. I am curious… Especially having been a Renthead… That Jesse Martin a member of the NYTW of Rent was the person who was delivering the idea still performing, like they did the night Jonathan did. If everyone is so up in arms about the likeness with Rent, let’s do an interview Jesse tvline!!

  19. I think what they tried to do with Kyle more or less worked, but the thing about Jimmy is no one wants him to be redeemed. No one wants him to learn anything from Kyle’s death. Everyone just wants to be done with him. I want him to be fired and gone. He was irredeemable. The writers (possibly the actor choices or lack of direction) didn’t even try to make us want to root for Jimmy, that’s the entire problem. Whereas the sometimes maddening behavior of Tom or Julia is forgivable (at least this season) because what they’ve been wanting isn’t entirely self-serving and selfish.

    • Angie says:

      I disagree. I wanted Jimmy to be redeemed because Kyle wouldn’t be friends with a total jerk. You knew there had to be more to the guy. Except for puinching Adam, Jimmy was 100% there for Karen at the premier of Bombshell. Now he’s going to honor Kyle’s friendship by making Hit List a success and living a good life. He had already almost hit rock bottom before he found out Kyle died. He was reaching out to both Kyle and Karen by seeking them out beforehand. Thinking Karen had slept with Derek (after all their conflicts) pissed him off understandably even if they were on a break.

      • EF says:

        An interesting way to be there for someone 100% “execept for”…completely embarrassing her and becoming violent. When she told him he scared her…it was the first (and last) believable thing Karen ever said to or about Jimmy.

        I’m not at all as picky about TV as some….I just like to be entertained, but the fact that Jimmy is so unlikeable make it impossible to understand why a girl like Karen would be friends with, let alone “in love” with Jimmy. Even in the flashback with he and Kyle he was a practically a bully. Karen’s interest in him is a huge distraction because it ridiculous.

        It was almost laughable that when she finally explains to him (mere hours after he was on her fire escape saying the same) that she loves him….he still blows her off.

        Having said all that….Kyle’s flashback scenes were lovely. He with Tom was perfect.

  20. lessjoy says:

    I was crushed by how the Karen/Derek story played out. They should be endgame, imho, but with Karen’s love declaration for Jimmy and Ivy’s re-emergence, it doesn’t seem like that is going to happen.

  21. danoregon says:

    Wasn’t crazy about the episode, still don’t buy the whiny Tom (let alone the hookup with Kyle) though I dug Vienna and the Jamie Cullum song.
    If Hit List was a true Rent storyline, the hipster fans would turn on the show when it got to Broadway as the show selling out and losing its soul.

  22. blulapis says:

    I’m really heartbroken about Kyle, and quite resentful of the writers here. To immediately resolve most of the conflicts on the show in one stroke due to a death is such lazy writing.

    It’s also not earned. The audience investment in Jimmy is mininal, mostly due to Jeremy Jordan’s lack of screen charisma. I’m sure he has charisma on stage, but it just doesn’t translate to the screen. Whereas Andy Mientus’ charisma and likeability just pop off the screen. All of this is to say, that as Andy Mientus talked about above – the writers are hoping that losing the likeable character of Kyle will make Jimmy more likeable. They are choosing to save a non-liked character because it moves the story according to their agenda. This is also lazy writing. And it loses all the storylines that could have been developed with Kyle that the audience would be invested in. Such a shame.

    Speaking of agendas, I don’t appreciate being made to feel sad because the writers, or the Director, want to push their own political agenda. Please don’t get me wrong, I’m sorry about Jonathan Larsen’s tragedy, of course, but I don’t need to have it pushed on me when I’m watching a show for entertainment purposes.

    I think it is a strange decision for a show on the brink of cancellation to kill off a very likeable character so abruptly. Usually shows will forecast a death, or kill characters who are not so well liked in order to not alienate the audience. Maybe they thought Kyle wasn’t as likeable as he is, or the audience wouldn’t mind being manipulated for obvious plot points. But this was a very risky move, if Smash did get renewed, I’d have to think about continuing to watch it. I don’t trust the writers.

    Of course, maybe they assumed that Smash would be cancelled, and wanted to make a grand statement about Larsen and Rent. Well, like I said, it didn’t work for me. I’m not feeling sad about Larsen, I’m feeling quite annoyed with Smash.

    As for Mr. Mientus, I am sure he has a wonderful career ahead of him. He definitely has the ‘it’ factor, and some smart Director will surely scoop him up soon. I very much look forward to that; I’ll watch his career with interest.

    • TJ Collins says:

      Just watched last night’s episode of Smash and I cried my eyes out. While the episode was incredibly moving, I still find myself really disconnecting with this show. Too many cliches, too many terrible storylines, and just too much, too much. I really liked Kyle’s character. He brought a genuine sweetness and heart to the show. They were just really beginning to show that. I know that they wanted to draw parallels to Rent and move the story along, but I felt that they rushed this. You can feel the writers’ and NBC’s desperation at this point. What started out as a fun show and drew me in now has me feeling disdain for the characters. I do not care for Jimmy’s strung out, self-centered character. It is too played out. And Karen has become this flat, vapid girl when once she was interesting. And Eileen and Jerry and Jerry have just become so very irritating. The drama is so annoying. At this point, the only character relationships that feel like they work are Tom and Julia as well as Ivy and Derek. I find myself kind of hoping that they wrap up this show rather than keep it going. It feels like the writers would just completely destroy something that had such potential. That is only my own opinion though.

  23. Kelly says:

    As a long-time “RENT” fan I thought this episode was respectful, thoughtful and done in honor of not only Jonathan’s life but of so many musical theatre writers out there today. I have strong opinions on Snash’s direction this season but this post is in response to an article about Andy Mientus and “Kyle”. I’m sorry to see such a gifted artist leave the show but I understand the story reasons.

  24. Will says:

    My problem with the RENT parallel is it doesn’t really work. One of the unfortunate truths of musical theatre is that most fans don’t really care about the book writer, since his/her job is to write something structurally holds the piece together but which fades into the background of the music. The songs are what are remembered, listened to again on the cast album, sung, etc. As tragic as his death is, what did he contribute to HIT LIST? A book that was so terrible, it was at first completely cut. SMASH never indicated how much was restored or rewritten or if it was still kept mostly a sung-through show. But in a rock opera like HIT LIST seems to be, it’s unlikely that there’s that much dialogue. But what it all comes down to as that, while sweet, Kyle isn’t the “genius” that made HIT LIST “brilliant.” That was Jimmy. In real world terms, if Jonathan Larson had only written RENT’s songs and not its book, and that other guy who’d just written the few bits of talking such as Mark’s short monologues had died, would that same legend have built up around the show? I’d say likely not. It would be very sad, but it wouldn’t turn the show into a legend. And in this case, again, we have someone who isn’t only not a genius but was actively bad at what he did until, apparently, one afternoon with Julia. Yet again, SMASH completely misses the point.

  25. They’ve should’ve killed Jimmy instead.

  26. Linderella says:

    Wonderful episode. Sad to see the Kyle character gone…NBC can make it up to us by giving us a season 3!

  27. Madison says:

    This episode made me cry ;( I loved Kyle so much

  28. mawhi says:

    Overall, I think the “Rent” parallels would have been much stronger if they hadn’t ALL SEASON been comparing Jimmy and Kyle and Hit List to Rent itself. “Show, don’t tell” y’all!!

  29. Chablis says:

    Not sure where my comments are going? Anyway was hoping for a full recap, please.

  30. Jeff says:

    I thought it was a great touching episode… but suffered the same problem that has happened several times in the last few episodes – characters make suggestions that are supposed to be drastic light bulb ideas to help revise part of Bombshell or Hit List and we see the new version and are supposed to go “wow, look at that great idea!” but we’ve never seen the “bad” version to begin with.

    Case in point again last night… Kyle and Tom have a sweet scene where he suggestions revisions to “At Your Feet” and later Tom puts it in the change as a touching tribute to Kyle… but since we never got to see the original version of how this worked, the impact of the change doesn’t hit. What we saw was a fun and light-hearted number, but I don’t know what the actual change is and how Kyle helped with that.

    Not the first time it’s happened – I think it was within the last couple episodes, a very similar thing happened (but I can’t remember specifically what it was) — and it’s applying to the characters and their relationships, too. Things that we need to see on screen in order to understand the meaning when things change are just glossed over a quick dialog and never shown.

  31. Jake says:

    If only the last episode had ended with Jimmy jumping in front of the car and saving Kyle – Jimmy would get his redemption through the ultimate self-sacrifice, we’d finally be rid of a miserable character, and we would still have a character who was actually developing in an interesting way.

    • cara says:

      My thoughts exactly. Redemption of Jimmy is the least interesting story in the show. If only I thought Jimmy was worth it but he’s not. He wasn’t there in the 1st season. His inclusion to the show brought nothing positive for the show. Not for a moment I thought him to be a necessary character. Now he’ll somehow turn into a good guy and be happy. Bad boy turned into a saint. Great story!!!!!

      • Martini says:

        Anyone’s redemption is worth it – real or fictional.

        • cara says:

          I don’t agree. Not all fictional characters worth redemption. Only well-written ones. Jimmy isn’t real. He’s a written character and IMO he’s not written well. He didn’t make the show better for me. I could feel a bit less negative about Jimmy if he just left the city and never came back. Now that would be redemption for the writers.

  32. Brandy says:

    Liked “Love I meant to say”.My favorite part as always was Eileen throwing a drink in Gerrys face.Glad Julia got rid of Scott,he only seemed to care about himself,his job like when she was upset at Toms paper to disolve thier partnership,Scott was all”I need Hit List and Gatsby to be hits or ill loose my job.”.Or last episode, he told her to tell off her longtime partner and bff to keep working with him cause”i need hit list and gatsby to do well or im out of a jib”.

  33. Jenny says:

    I think this show has such great music and characters with more depth than sometimes comes through to the viewers. This show is such a unique show because it is based on the broadway scene, which most of us don`t get to experience or visit. I think Jimmy and Kyle saw good in each other and pulled each other through the good and hard times. I think many of us judge this show and Jimmy too much. Katherine Mchphee fits this show well and is able to show off her vocals beautifully among the talented cast. I like the dynamics between Tom and Julia, Karen and Derek, Jimmy and Karen, Kyle and Tom, Derek and Ivy, Ivy and Tom. They all just work really well together and the plot lines are usually pretty interesting. I wish more people would tell others about it and enjoy this cool show. It has so much to offer. I hope Jimmy can let Karen back in because he needs support and her love for him to grieve and maybe rejoin the show (or at least stay out of trouble). He may seem annoying or like he`s always in the way, but he seems like a very relatable character. We all struggle and have a dream, but need others to help us see that and help us seek the best we can be. Karen and Kyle, not to mention Hit List, have been reaching out to Jimmy who has so much potential (and isn`t that bad looking and has actually been on broadway in real life) that I hope he and this show can come back next season and gain more viewers. This show is much more fun and has much more talent than some of the other shows on tv if people would give it another chance.

  34. Jenny says:

    Please check out the music of Smash on itunes and tell other people to watch it! This show deserves to be enjoyed. I loved the Kyle arc, it definitely opened up the other charactes and brought the two shows together, which was cool.

  35. Kathy says:

    i think that the Rent parallel was interesting and a nice way to remember Jonathan. His life and Kyle should inspire us all to seek out our dreams, support others around us, remember life is short, and support this show and broadway as they hold a lot of talent, music, and stories that will be timeless.

  36. JAO says:

    Outstanding episode. I cried thru most of it. Please renew this show!

  37. whatever says:

    wasn’t kyle not talented? what happened? is he competent only on flashbacks? how does just singing hit list’s songs pay homage to kyle, if jimmy is the composer? I wouldn’t get all of this if this wasn’t “smash”.

  38. Mike says:

    It’s sad and annoying that perhaps the best show on network television is going to be cancelled. I have loved Smash from the beginning and hate to see it end. Love the character of Kyle and I think it was a great tribute to him .

  39. MM says:

    Let’s get this actor some more work! I enjoyed him immensely on this show, even if he was only the vehicle (no pun intended) to Jimmy’s redemption. And this interview just makes me like him more.

  40. It was a mixed episode,
    The positives , the real moments they gave Kyle, it was real , it was low drama , the show really needed a lot more of this , its a shame because it is what makes the better dramas that feel no need just shove tons of dramatic moments at their audience to keep their attention ,
    Negatives ,
    Over doing Jimmy and his over the top moments , its almost like watching bad stage theater.
    Horrible line they gave Derek to the cast ” They want to hear what you have to say ” to the cast before they were going on , this was not to be a performance about a message but rather one where the cast was going to be able to share their love of Kyle via the songs of ” Hit List” , they should have just gone into it like you would if singing at a dear friends Funeral / Wake.

    I wish the show was so much better then it is ,

  41. Anonymous says:

    I would just like to say that I didn’t really enjoy all the parallels between RENT and Hit List because there were so many similarities that it stopped being parallels and started being an exact copy without ever acknowledging Jonathan Larson or RENT. I’ve tried hard to see it as a tribute/homage, as I believe the writers intended it to be that, but unfortunately I think they forced too much of it and did it the wrong way.

    I’m not going to discuss whether I think Jimmy and/or Kyle should have died or the point of having Kyle die or whether Hit List is a good show or whether RENT is a good show or not. What bothers me is that they copied several details that were very specific to RENT/Larson: (1) The ‘concert’ turned actual performance happened the night after Larson past away when his family and friends gathered at the theatre; (2) The theatre was packed with people sitting on the stage and standing on sides (during Hit List), where as people sat on the stairs during the tribute to Larson; (3) Larson was known to ‘live for theatre’ (one example is the fact that he worked 2-3 times a week so he could just barely get by) and in this last episode they say that Kyle lived for the theatre; (4) Kyle tells Tom that he is always changing things and writing them down, where as Larson spent years writing RENT and was known for changing things constantly; (5) Hit List declares itself a phenomenon before they even have a producer to take them to Broadway, where RENT, as everyone knows, became a phenomenon; (6) HIt List in an earlier episode is described as edgy and is compared to RENT; (7) In one of the earlier episodes, I remember Karen referencing RENT but I don’t remember the exact context; (8) People were lining up outside the theatre for tickets to see Hit List which is exactly what they did for RENT…the list goes on, with the most obvious detail being the death of both writers.

    What bothers me is that SMASH didn’t bother to mention that it was a tribute to Larson (ex. put it in the credits or at the beginning of the show) or even say during the show that they wanted to put on a performance for Kyle like they did for Larson. As a result, it can be argued that the writers exploited the story since not everyone would pick up on these details and therefore would have viewed most, if not all, of the story as being a work of fiction. The flip side, I suppose, is that they were hoping people would pick up on the references and see it as a tribute. But since RENT exists in the world of Hit List, as evidenced by the poster in Scott’s office, why not mention the show (during the last episode when they wanted to do a performance for Kyle) rather than pretending the show doesn’t exist?

    There is also the issue that some of the similarities seemed force since they threw them all into one episode (such as the similarities between Larson and Kyle) rather than having those details mentioned in other episodes. I think if they had set a precedent and mentioned Larson either during the episode or in the credits, then it would have been seen as a tribute. Instead, they threw all these ‘parallels’ together in one episode and made it seem like it was a unique situation. I think if they truly wanted to pay tribute, they would have chosen a few details, rather than trying to replicate the entire event.

    As I said, I’ve tried to see it as the writers paying tribute to Larson but I find it difficult. I think RENT and/or Larson should have mentioned so that those who didn’t know the story could have a better understanding and those who know what happened wouldn’t feel like the event was being exploited.

    Anyways, these are my thoughts; just thought I’d share them.

  42. Chris says:

    So I don’t know a lot about Rent, but I do love Smash and Kyle and absolutely did NOT see this coming, which meant I was a weepy mess when I watched the last episode. Seriously… it was heart wrenching. Reading this interview helped me cope with the grief though.

  43. RichardSF says:

    @Andy @Smash: the ‘rent’ parallel has been going on since Jesse’s character at “MTW” (which we know is NYTW) appeared with the ‘rent’ poster behind his desk. But ‘rent’ was a masterpiece, whereas ‘hit list’ isn’t. Jonathan was a genius, where as ‘kyle’ and ‘jimmy’ aren’t. Andy, you are (along with Wes) my favorite young actors on SMASH. I am *so* glad they let you sing, finally, and Jeff Buckley to boot (another tragic young death – we get it). Still I felt the ‘rent’ parallel was a fairly bad attempt, and I was sorry to see ‘kyle’s character go away. My question is: when are they going to let Jesse and DAPHEN sing?!?!?!? and Wes ?!?!?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Unfortunately Jesse won’t be singing…last night’s episode was his last :(
      I really don’t understand how this show can have such great performers (Jesse L. Martin, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Annaleigh Ashford [albeit very briefly], Montego Glover, Wesley Taylor…the list goes on and on) and not have them sing. It’s unfortunate because they’re all very talented and it would be nice to see.

    • tngoddess says:

      “But ‘rent’ was a masterpiece, whereas ‘hit list’ isn’t. Jonathan was a genius, where as ‘kyle’ and ‘jimmy’ aren’t.” My thoughts exactly, And it pisses me off.

      • Kennedy K says:

        all ‘masterpiece’ Broadway musicals start like failures. All musicals have to start SOMEWHERE. If you truly knew Broadway, you would understand.

  44. Magically Suspicious says:

    The Rent parallels are a bit too literal for me, but I’d rather see them do it 100% than do an obvious parallel and then deny that’s what they are doing. I do enjoy seeing Jesse L. Martin with a Rent poster over his desk taking part in the thick of it. It’s a shame that he’s not going to be part of the cast in the future, should they have a future. It’s REALLY a shame if this show gets cut now. The last half of this season has been fabulous. Moving it to Saturdays was great for me. My Saturday nights now consist of a bottle of wine, good take-out, and my dog and I cuddled on the couch to watch Smash. I look forward to it every week.

  45. Smash Fan says:

    I love Smash and I like how it compares to Rent with Kyle he is my favorite character I wish I could see more of him when he started to open up. I hope that Bombshell gets a tony because I like Ivy now and then Hit List can become a phenomenon and stay open forever because it rocks! Though with Kyle being gone it wont really be the same, just like with Revolution killing Danny HE was my favorite character too. Kyle is awesome and he will be missed, but because of his ingeneous ideas it will make Hit List run forever because it rocks (I just wish Bombshell won one Tony and Ivy won a Tony for best supporting actor too) Though, because of Kyle he has let Hit List after this broadway season become an amazing show that will run forever. Good job Kyle! You have left a legacy and I will miss you during every next episode of Smash, just like I do with Danny in Revolution.

  46. Diana says:

    Hey everybody! This is a MADE FOR DRAMA SHOW. It is sad what happen to Larson…a tragedy! But tragedy happens all the time. We pick up the pieces and move on. I think most of u r taking this a little TOO serious. It’s a show… That has to have drama to survive. I thought the episode was BEAUTIFUL, sad, touching and wonderful. Let just all leave it at that…at face value!

  47. Diana says:

    To all the others u have negative stuff to say about the show….IF U DON’T LIKE THE SHOW THEN QUIT WATCHING!!!!!!!! If ur gonna watch it….quit cryin about it. Most people, including, myself love the show, cast and even the music!

  48. Kayla K says:

    People keep saying that Hit List is a “RENT 2″, which I totally disagree with. Sure, it has some of the same actors/actresses from the original RENT, but Hit List has a TOTALLY different plot line than RENT. 1. Someone is murdered in Hit List not RENT. 2.This is the road to fame not a documentary over the people standing up for themselves. 3. This a single love story, while RENT was multiple love stories from multiple types of couples. So yes it does parallel RENT, but it is NOT a “RENT 2″.

  49. Kaitie says:

    i wish the story was this good in begininng of the season now i want a season 2 that im not going to get…

    • missy says:

      I agree with you. I think Jimmy is great and like him with Karen. So sad the show is ending. It is the one show I looked forward to.

  50. IvyLeaguer says:

    I am obviously in the minority here, but I love Jimmy. His “Hit List” songs have been the best in the series this season. I was all about “Bombshell” last year, but the “Hit List” music has trumped it hands down. Sure, his character is that of a flawed man but also an amazingly talented artist who has a lot of doubts about himself and tries to cover them up with a cocky attitude and pretending he doesn’t give a f—. I’ve met people like that, and many have turned out to be the most interesting people I know. Jimmy may not be the most likable guy in the world, but you know anyone who writes songs like “Broadway Here I Come” and “I Heard Your Voice in a Dream” (not to mention “I Can’t Let Go”) has a deeper emotional side than what he cares to share outside his art. Like the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop, it takes some time to get to it, but when you do, it’s always worth it.

    My bigger problem is with “The Diva.” The actress is great, but the whole storyline seems trite to me. When they switched the focus to that, the ensuing songs were less than stellar IMO. And any parallels to “Rent” went right out the window.

    All that said, I love the show, think the cast is completely amazing (although Daphne R-V is criminally underutilized– LET HER SING!!) and would watch it for at least another two seasons before ever considering giving up on it. The main characters are all so interesting (and flawed) that I cannot look away, and I find myself googling and obsessing over a new one every week.